Top 10 Texas Rangers players right now: #9 Taylor Hearn

Seth Carlson
Sep 5, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Taylor Hearn throws a pitch in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 5, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Taylor Hearn throws a pitch in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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Just as the MLB lockout remains in place, so too does our Texas Rangers current player rankings.

Coming in at 10th on our rankings (out of 10) was right-hander Dane Dunning. No. 9 in these rankings is also a pitcher, a certified cowboy and a lanky lefty. It’s none other than the great Taylor Hearn!

Top 10 Texas Rangers players right now

#9: Taylor Hearn

Hearn, 27, was one of the Texas Rangers’ most important pitchers in 2021. Initially in the bullpen, the lefty transitioned to the starting rotation by mid-season after the unit was ravaged by injuries. He would become a reliable option every fifth day, while all but securing his spot in the rotation again in 2022.

The numbers for Hearn in 2021 don’t look great on the surface (4.66 ERA in 104.1 IP, 92 strikeouts), but don’t let them fool you: he was a very solid contributor on a pitching staff that wasn’t very good.

The big lefty was acquired with Sherten Apostel from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the trade that sent reliever Keone Kela to the Steel City in 2018. With both Hearn and Apostel having made the big leagues at some point or another, that trade is looking like a win for Texas. Kela is currently a free agent after spending 2021 in San Diego with the Padres.

Hearn isn’t overpowering by any means, as he struck out just 7.9 batters per nine innings in 2021, but he coaxes a lot of ground ball outs, which is always a good thing. He’ll also need to keep working on his control, as he walked nearly four batters per nine innings last season. If he can harness his pitch mix, he’ll be even more effective going forward.

Currently, Hearn figures to slot into the Texas Rangers’ rotation as the third starter, behind Dane Dunning and Jon Gray. That’s not necessarily ideal, as he profiles more as a backend starter. That’s less of an indictment on Hearn and more on the state of this team’s rotation, however.

Next. Top 10 Rangers players right now- #10 Dane Dunning. dark

Either way, for his contributions to last year’s team and his versatility, Taylor Hearn is one of the Texas Rangers’ 10 best players heading into 2022.

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